Lil Pump - Harverd Dropout
Gazzy Garcia, more commonly known as Lil Pump, is still cashing in on his 2017 mega hit “Gucci Gang,” a viral sensation that garnered an SNL parody. It was not a lyrical masterpiece by any means, but in a way it stood as a milestone for Soundcloud rap. Any kid, with the right marketing and eccentric self-characterization, could become an Internet born phenomenon.
But what was slightly charming on “Gucci Gang” was the heavy-hitting, lo-fi sheen and his youthful, outlandish energy. Lil Pump, like his contemporaries, was embracing his amateurish appeal. Garcia has traded that in for a highly produced, big budget project. Any joke Lil Pump had going for him simply does not translate on The Harverd Dropout. (It’s Harvard spell wrong. Funny right? Sigh.)
There was nothing earth shattering about Lil Pump’s rudimentary trap beats on his earliest singles, but at least they were convincing in their dirty, bedroom cooked sound. The production on this latest album is squeaky clean, all the personality washed straight away. The beats are anything but menacing; they are tacky and tasteless.
I would usually defend against the lazy dismissals of contemporary trap rappers for lack of conventional talent or skill. However, when there is no worthwhile hooks or any interesting instrumentals to support Pump, his lackluster flows and uninspired bars really do start to become a factor.
Pump throws one cringe-inducing line after another. “I'm a millionaire, but I don't know how to read,” he brags. This seems to be the one note he wants to repeat throughout the album, the fact that he is rich in spite of his perceived ignorance. The bit gets stale all too fast. The majority of the songs barely crack two minutes, and there is no thought behind how they are arranged in the tracklisting. There is no overarching theme or concept to anchor these tunes. Pump’s label threw together a collection of Pump’s half-baked songs in attempt to cash in on the current flavor of the month.
He does court a few high-profile guest appearances. Offset and Quavo, both members of the massive Atlanta collective Migos, provide aggressively average verses to two already subpar songs: “Fasho Fasho” and “Too Much Ice.” On “Be Like Me”, Lil Wayne couldn’t possibly sound more dialed in and disinterested. YG and 2 Chainz do nothing to save the train wreck that is “Stripper Name.” Lil Uzi Vert is by far the most interesting participant here, but that really isn’t much of an achievement is it?.
Lil Pump says a lot of irresponsible things on this album, but none of it stands up to the shameful “Drug Addicts.” While drug addiction plagues the hip-hop world, recently taking the lives of Mac Miller and Lil Peep, Pump is personally content to brag about his pill popping habits. Whereas Danny Brown can make smart dope anthems that simultaneously give light to the darker aspects of drug use, Pump has nothing of substance to say about a very real problem.
Harverd Dropout is an irredeemably bad project full of vacuous statements and shoddy production. “Gucci Gang” was a very brief moment in the spotlight for an artist who has now shown he has nothing of value to add to the already saturated trap market. Lil Pump is a months old meme that was never actually that funny to begin with.